Something randomly popped in my mind. I probably don’t have all of the ends covered but this is just a theory so far.
We all live for our own purposes. These purposes aren’t pre-defined by a divine being and instead are defined by our own choices, actions, goals and influences. These definitions are forever changing based on the influences from the world around us, our state of minds and so-forth.
Just imagine a time of your life when you felt the urge to become the most popular kid on the block. You’d be hooked on social gatherings and parties with your friends. This was pretty much your purpose in life (at that time): To achieve that social status and be recognized amongst your peers. Even as a kid we had goals like becoming the greatest football player football in your school – This goal similarly translated into your purpose in life during that period of time.
Why? I believe that if you are sincerely putting your 200% effort into a goal, the impact you would have on the world is pretty much based on the outcome of that goal for that period of time.
So as we grow older, our goals shift & transform and hence so do our purposes in life. Some goals last a life-time (even when we forget about them) and so we keep this, while many are abandoned and left in our past. Eventually our goals stabilize when we join the working force because this is the time of our lives when we have to care for ourselves and our future goals begin to cater for survival and general success influenced by the world around us (as it has been throughout our lives, anyway!).
We start to aim for the top of the career ladders; to make investments for improved financial security; to finding our soulmate and starting our own families… And hence this becomes the meaning of our lives: To strive for greatness in what we do to prepare a better future for our children.
Now, the question is… Why conform to this generalized definition of why we exist? As mentioned, these goals have already been influenced by the world around us – Who says being on top of the career ladder exhibits success?
All I have to say is, choose your goals wisely and don’t just go with the flow. Also, don’t wait too long to stabilize these goals there won’t be a point knowing your meaning of life when there isn’t much life left to live, anyway.